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The Spider's Work

There lives a spider outside my front door. I have no desire to disturb her.

Each night, I get the house ready for bed by cleaning up, locking up, and shutting off the lights.

As I pass this window, I check on her. She ignores me and attends to her art.

The web strikes me as art in its symmetry, in its detail. But also in the spider's commitment to recreating this nightly masterpiece after it's destroyed by the day.

My children are in bed. The dog settles. I realize that her web is not (only) art, but work. The spider makes because she has to. It’s what she knows to do, a pattern of creation embedded in her DNA.

I’m tired. This week, I’ve flown back and forth from a cross-continental conference, worked, cooked, laundried, cleaned, drove, and just tonight, took my children to a baseball game. We stayed late for the fireworks.

The laptop waits on the nightstand beside the bed. Sleep calls to me.

Light from an awakened screen illuminates thin facial lines that reminisce on the day’s burdens, but also on its joys.

I write.

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